Owners own, managers manage – what about the MD?

By Tom Wilson

Purslow - crossing lines that shouldn't be crossed?
“At a football club, there’s a holy trinity – the players, the manager and the supporters. Directors don’t come into it. They are only there to sign the cheques”

Having failed in his mandate to deliver investment to Liverpool Football Club, a nonfulfillment that resulted in him having his remit reduced and lead to the appointment of Martin Broughton and Barclays Capital, it appears that Christian Purslow is filling the gaps in his increasingly sparse schedule by meddling in areas that don’t concern him.

Despite being a lifelong supporter and long time season ticket holder, the Liverpool managing director has, on occasion, paid scant regard to Shankly’s famous “Holy Trinity” mantra.

To all intents and purposes, it appears that the Liverpool MD, when not desperately seeking the approval of certain senior members of the first team squad, is trying to desperately compensate for his demotion of sorts by both securing his position, satisfying his ego by painting himself as some kind of “Mr Liverpool” figure, whilst at the same time undermining the manager at every turn in a childish, narcissistic fit of pique.

Not happy with just having an unhealthy influence over big hitter and Daily Telegraph football correspondent Henry Winter, Christian is reputedly bending the collective ears of anyone with an outlet who’ll listen to his propaganda.

Propaganda which resulted in this piece by Sam Wallace and Mark Fleming in The Independent.

As if the seemingly deliberate timing of the article wasn’t bad enough – on the eve of Liverpool’s biggest game of the season – it also illustrates perfectly the delusions of grandeur of the former middle market equity boss, who it is believed was the source of the story.

Lampshade, sofa, other?Anfield Road has learned that whilst the club may very well be targeting Dutch midfielder Rafael Van Der Vaart, and indeed Real Madrid may have been approached already about the 27 year old, it has been without the knowledge, permission, or say-so of the first team manager or his staff.

These revelations initially came to light that last week in Madrid at the Vicente Calderon where Purslow was holding court with the various members of the press pack, boasting of a meeting with Florentino Perez, claiming that he had been offered “Van der Vaart and a striker”.

At that point in time the manager didn’t even know Purslow had been talking transfers with Real Madrid, he certainly hadn’t asked him to, yet Purslow saw no problems at all in broadcasting the news to the press. Benítez, as a result, is believed to feel both undermined and unnerved having inevitably been informed of such developments.

Whilst it may not be absolutely essential to have a “football background” to hold a senior position at a club, to actively interfere over the manager’s head on transfer policy is tantamount to treason and is a stunning dereliction of duty from a man who seems to revel in the status that his title bequeaths him.

“We need to have the owners own and the managers manage.”
– CP, SOS meeting minutes, 2nd February 2010.

Whether such indiscretions are part of a deliberate campaign to unsettle the manager, or merely the acts of a man desperate for the world to know his importance aren’t clear.

Although if it is the former, it would be without the blessing of the club’s owners who are desperate to keep the turbulence surrounding the club to an absolute minimum as they look for someone to stump up the best part of £500,000,000 to take the club out of their hands.

Rafa Benitez with Sammy LeeIf it is the latter, then he at least should know that no man is bigger than the club, no board member is bigger than the manager, and needs to learn the meaning of the word decorum.

Having appointed Broughton, who is yet to meet Benítez, chiefly in an effort to break deadlock at boardroom level in order to sell the club, the last thing that Liverpool and its owners need is a war of attrition between its manager and managing director.

There is little doubt that Christian Purslow is a Liverpool fan and came into the club with the best intentions, in all probability giving up a much better paid job to do so, to land one which every Liverpool fan in the country is convinced they could do.

Therein lies the issue

A fan cannot run a football club, indeed, the evidence of such catastrophes are scattered down the leagues; essentially it’s the ultimate poisoned chalice as logic and reason go out of the window.

It may very well be his perceived raison d’être that has blinded him somewhat, stripped away the cold-eyed professionalism that is required to run a club the size of Liverpool FC.

There is no doubt that in his heart he only wants the best for the club, but if he steps back and takes stock, his head may tell him the best thing for the club would be for him to step down, thus helping achieve the aim in what he set out to do in the first place.

25 thoughts on “Owners own, managers manage – what about the MD?”

  1. This is the typical example of “Pro Rafa – blind” press.

    I have two points for you here below:

    1) What Do You honestly think on Rafa’s behaviour in the last two days?

    Yesterday Rafa on future:
    – “I don’t like the rumours”, “I have long term plan at Anfield”, “my future is at Anfield”, “We’ve been working hard for yrs”

    Today Rafa on future:
    – “I’ve not had any assurance for the future from the Board”,l ” I’ve listen O’Neill, Rjkaard linked to my job for a year (what a kind of disrespect for the guys: They are professional and They deserve respect).

    It seems that Rafa whould like to say that He wants to stay and He’s working but the Board want to get him the sack.
    Maybe is Rafa finding to get his compensation from the Club at any cost? Rafa is been prove to be a diry man, not a genuine, honest, manager and man of football.

    On Van Der Vaart: What’s the problem? The guy is a quality player for Rafa or not good enough? Van Der Vaart is a nice talented player and any manager whould be happy to see him in his squad, especially a manager with only one good striker in the team since January of the 2008. Maybe the problem is The rafa’s ego?
    A man in charge with genuine desire to stay ar Anfield, and with a genuine desire to manage the Club doesn’t need to be so disonest and dirty. Like Martin O’Neill, Rafa could simply announce his desire to talk with Chairman at the End of The Season.
    FACT.
    On Chris Purslow:
    Money, Stadium, investors are all areas of a Football’s Chief?
    Excuses by excuses with the only purpose to hide the totally failure of the manager.
    Stop to blame each other except Rafa Benitez.
    RAFA BENITEZ MUST SHARE THE BLAME EXCATLY AS ANY OTHER AT THE CLUB.

  2. Great article. Brings to light the insidious rivalry that has to be rooted out of Anfield. We would never know these things if articles like this weren’t written. You have to feel for Rafa. Not enough having 2 gold diggers wihtholding any real money for player acquisition and meeting potential managers to replace him. Not enough having a ceo who blocked nearly all his first choice transfers. He has to now contend with a md who thinks he knows who to buy for the club. Wouldn’t blame the guy one bit if he left for Juve.

  3. Jack, Rafa decided to sell Robbie Keane after just half season without finding a proper replacement last year, and no one decided for him, NO ONE.
    So If The Club has one only good striker You must knock at the manager’s office door.
    FACT.
    I do not think that the Board’s situation is perfect, but Why You try ostinately to deny the responsibilities of the manager?
    I can’t believe that when We have a good season Rafa is a GENIUS, but when the things are poor, anyone has to get blames except the manager.
    Did Rafa never do mistakes?
    Simply absurd.

  4. What a load of TOSH! Christian Purslow has been a quiet figure in the background of this club since his arrival with his only time in the limelight following the outstanding sponshorship deal which he pulled off with Standard Chartered which put us on a level playing field in Marketing terms with Man U & Real Madrid. To match those marketing giants in shirt sponshorship within a few months of taking up your position should be applauded by every Liverpool Fan as our lack of marketing expertise/performance cannot be divorced from lack of funds in the transfer market. CP’s failure to secure funding in the club can be directly attributed to the fact that he had the impossible task of trying to secure significant funding from a source who was willing to be a minority shareholder with no influence over two clowns who were were running the club into the ground.

    I have no doubt if CP was given the freedom to search for investors for a total buyout (the brief given to Martin Broughton) we would now have new responsible owners in place however as we know this was not the case. I do not know what the hidden agenda of this article is intended to achieve however without doubt there is a hidden agenda. I applaud Christian Purslow for the huge marketing achievement he secured within months of his appointment and hope he is here for many years to come.

  5. Rick,

    All this “anti-Rafa” / “pro-Rafa” stuff just leaves people missing some of the most obvious points. Does it actually matter who the manager is in this story? If it was Mourinho, O’Neill, Capello, Rijkaard, Dalglish or anyone else, would it change your view on the story?

    The story says that Purslow went to Madrid, arranged to meet Perez, then discussed possible transfer targets. Then, instead of reporting back to Rafa and keeping it all nice and discreet (maybe Rafa would have been delighted there was an opening there to bring a player in) Purslow decided to show off to the press about it.

    First of all it’s extremely unprofessional, and I’m sure the members of the press that witnessed it felt so too.

    Can anyone “running” our club properly justify such a display?

    It’s also irrelevant at this stage what Rafa thinks of Van der Vaart. First of all, if he did want him, instead of the club being in a position to tie up a deal quickly the club now might find itself facing competition from other clubs. Rafa himself used to talk about the need to act quickly in the transfer market, no dithering or delaying, because that lets your competitors in. So is telling the press about possible targets the best way to keep your competitors out of the way, the best way to avoid a bidding war?

    Is it a deliberate attempt to undermine the manager or a spectacular showing of naivety?

    Don’t forget, Purslow negotiated Rafa’s contract (it was one of his previous boasts) so he can’t exactly complain now if he thinks it has unfair severance terms in it (and if it does, who exactly is it that told the press about it?)

    I’m open to the idea of insisting that various figures at the club “share the blame” – but that means all of them have to look at their own part in what’s happened at this club of late, in particular over the past 12 months.

    In fact I think it’s time to stop arguing about Rafa’s portion of the blame (the arguments always seem to be he’s 100% to blame or 0% to blame) and work out who else made such a negative difference to this season compared to previous ones.

    Doesn’t matter who the manager is, Liverpool FC’s manager should not find himself undermined in front of the press by his own MD.

    The article above isn’t strong enough for me, I think it’s time for Purslow to tell the truth or go back to the world of leveraged buy-outs that he came from. If he means well, if he cares about the club, he’ll have no problem telling us the truth.

    I won’t hold my breath.

  6. Good article but a shame that people think that any article examining people in the boardroom is considered pro-Rafa.

    @Rick:
    Cast your mind back, Keane left and we went on to be top scorers in the league (with Torres out injured for several games). Surely anyone in Rafa’s position would be sure we could cope without Torres. He wanted to sign a striker last summer, but was blocked.

    Of course he has made mistakes but certain senior players have been well below par this season as well. Last season we finished second – that was the time to invest in top quality players to push onwards. The funding was never there.

    The way I see it is that Rafa has made some mistakes, some players have been poor this season and there was a lack of investment last summer in particular to push the team on.

    With all these self-proclaimed people in the boardroom it is clear we need new directors who will let the manager do his job. Any doubt about this and cast your mind back to Keegan at Newcastle when he turned up for training and found players turning up who he didn’t sign or knew nothing about.

    Purslow should keep his nose out of team affairs.

  7. Brian – that Standard Chartered deal was in place before Purslow became MD, within the restrictions imposed by the previous deal, Purslow’s role in it was to smile for the cameras when it was finally, formally, announced. Ian Ayre should really have been the one getting the plaudits, but perhaps it was felt best he took a back seat for the announcement.

    In terms of CP trying to find funding under difficult circumstances, any hopes he had of getting people to join up as joint investors weren’t exactly helped by the minutes that came out from his meeting with SOS. You don’t get people to put money in as partners if you’re going to feed such comments about the existing owners to a group like SOS, knowing it will be made public. But if the only obstacle was that nobody wanted to join up with both the owners, why didn’t he find someone to buy 100%?

    According to those SOS meeting minutes, CP said: “It is not a given that £100 million will buy 25%. I need to find £100 million, and if this is for 1% or 100% I don’t care. I am concentrating on getting the investment needed. Some investors may have issues with working with the present owners, but some don’t just want a percentage, some want 100%. No investor is going to want to invest £100 million and have a smaller stake than the present owners.”

    So selling 100% [i]was[/i] an option. He was given the freedom to search for investors for a total buyout. So why didn’t he bring in the new owners you say you’ve no doubt he could have?

    On top of that, or regardless of that, how do you justify him talking to Real about possible transfers, without informing the manager, and blabbing about it to the press?

  8. I think that Keegan example at Newcastle is exactly the kind of scenario this story should be ringing alarm bells about.

  9. Nice response rick, i hate the way the media slate Rafa at every opportunity they get as much as any other LFC supporter, but we do not need to be blinded by this and forget that our manager has got it terribly wrong this season:

    1) Aquillani is a brilliant CM but why buy an injured player for £17-20m to replace a key component in our brilliant season last year, when they are players like Sneider, Van der Vaart, Robben, Higuain, even Van Horse Face etc available from a club buying our top CM?

    2) Playing defensively against bottom-of-the-table teams, fair enough the EPL is tough but come on 2 defensive midfilders against Pompy (and i wish everyone would stop blaming Lucas for the season we are having, if he was crap then why is Rafa playing him?) instead blame the manager and his tactics

    3) i like Ngo’g a lot as a “young player” but why not use Babel in that position in the absence of Torres rather than put so much pressure on a youngster to lead the line for a club as huge as LFC, which in turn might work against us in the long term following everyone’s ridiculous expectations for the boy to perform ala Torres, thus knocking his confidence.

    4) i know most of you out there won’t believe this but Lucas is a very good box-to-box midfilder, why is Rafa tying him down next to Mascherano in midfield instead of allowing him to do what Gerrard does when played deeper and actually play football?

    5) why haven’t we bought a striker to help Torres out since Keane left, we’ve certainly had our chances to do so?

    and finally 6) am i the only one who’s noticed that Gerrard very rarely plays well in the hole when Torres isn’t playing? so why has our “trusted” manager not noticed this as the “master tactician” and played him deeper with either Aquillani or Benayoun in the hole?

    in simple terms, Rafa has got it wrong in so many ways this year with very little luck however going his way in terms of injuries to key members of our squad. Credit however goes to the long term plan he seems to have in place involving youngsters coming through and being given chances to shine e.g. the two Dani’s, Kelly and even at reserve level with Cooper and Flanagan coming through from under-18 level. So stop trying to find niches to hide these Rafa faults and just accept that HE did mess up primarily with the Alonso sale to replaced by an injured player.

    YNWA!!!

  10. What bull. Alonso wanted to leave because he got nervous with Rafa looking to STRENGTHEN his midfield by buying Barry. Rafa didnt force him to leave.
    Sounds odd for Purslow to go this route. Probably a rubbiish report.

  11. Jim- For someone who infers they have behind the scenes knowledge you have not done your home work, following the announcement of the deal with Standard Chartered, Tim Baxter,Head of Corporate Communications at the Bank clearly highlighted Christian Purslow with his banking contacts as the force behind brokering the deal, so lets not speculate about who delivered or make assumptions that the deal was in place, the complany who have provided this massive funding and have no axe to grind clearly identified who drove the deal.

    In relation to CP’s search for investment, it is common knowledge that he was searching for investment at the direction of the american cowboys his comments to SOS were refreshing in that he has the same low opinion of the current owners as most fans and that is to be applauded, it also suggests that his search for investment may not have been too vigorous given that he was well aware of the pressure which would come on the owners once the loan extension period had expired. Indeed lt has panned out that way with the banks now calling the shots and not G&H which was the case during CP’s search for investment.

    Lets be clear, following Martin Broughtons search for investment a number of offers will be on the table,G&H will make a profit and the Banks will be repaid (most likely highest offer will succeed) G&H will not have the power to reject all offers as the banks will insist on repayment and if G&H cannot pay up, the Banks will repossess the club and sell to the highest offer in any case. This scenario was known by CP and contrary to what you have quoted is entirely at odds with your statement that he had the same selling conditions as MartinBroughton has now.

    In relation to him talking to Real about players and bragging to the press? I must spend approx 3 hours each day on the web in relation to LFC matters and I have not seen any qoutes being attributed to CP? Is this more baseless insider knowledge!!!!!

    So yes I have no doubt he would have brought in new & proper owners based on his passion for our club, his excellent business record in banking and outstanding performance in his first few months at the club and I would be far more comfortable with an LFC season ticket holder deciding the fate of our club than a Chelsea one!

  12. Hey Rick your missing the point. It does not matter if purslow was talking to get Messi. The problem is that it is not his business to interfere with the squad. Its a simple principle to understand. Once you start where do you end up. Structures are in place for a reason. This is not a local 5 a side.

    2) Rafa never wanted keane and sold him before his price dropped even further.

    3) As ar I can see the article does not criticise Purslow’s sponsorship deal. I don’t know why you have raised it. He can get the best sponsorhip deal in the world but when he starts making decisions on who we should buy there is a SERIOUS problem.

    4) Rafa is a genius because what he has performed over the last 5 years at Anfield. Going to 2 CL finals with a limited budget, not because what he does over one or half a season.

    5) As for my other points regarding the owners and rick parry , iIsee you have not made any counter arguments. I wonder why

  13. Brian,

    Thanks for the comments, let’s hope we can discuss these things without any animosity!

    First of all though, I just want to ask about those quotes you mentioned from Tim Baxter – I did a quick google for them and came up with a blank. Have you got a link to them? I’m not saying he didn’t say it, I’d just like to read them for myself.

    In terms of the new sponsorship deal and who brokered it, having checked back over my emails maybe there’s a slight chance Purslow got involved – but only very late in the day.

    To cut a long story short I was first told about us agreeing a new deal just over a year ago. This was well before Purslow’s appointment was announced – he wasn’t announced until June. However we do know he was here before that, in fact he later confirmed this when speaking about Rafa, saying one of his first jobs in his first week was to secure Rafa’s services for five years. Rafa signed his new deal in March. So in theory Purslow was here for about three weeks when the new deal was agreed (although it of course wasn’t announced until some time later). Ian Ayre reportedly has a lot of contacts of his own in the kinds of territories Standard Chartered work in, personally I’d be surprised if Purslow’s arrival a few weeks before it was all agreed made a massive difference.

    It’s totally up to you whether or not you believe me, I’m not going to publish emails or name names. But I’d still like to see those quotes from Tim Baxter if you’ve got them, I’ve always tried to be open-minded about anything to do with the club and it’d be interesting to read those quotes now.

    I wouldn’t be too sure that the banks are now calling the shots, in fact I’d say there’s still a lot of mystery shrouding the whole situation with Broughton’s appointment. Michael Klein made the introductions between the owners and Broughton, I believe he wasn’t just foisted on the owners without them having any say in the matter. There’s a lot more to that appointment than meets the eye, it’s just a little difficult to decipher it at the moment.

    As for the selling conditions now and then – what’s changed really? The asking price will always have some fluidity to it, depending on issues such as the fortunes of the club, the world markets and the situation with the owners themselves. Meet the price and terms, either for a partial or full share, and you’ve got a deal. Unless some sort of partial sale has already taken place, I don’t see any real difference other than a different person doing the work of selling the club.

    Back to the story about Purslow talking to Real, do you always expect to see quotes before you’ll believe anything? Rafa didn’t speak to Real about van der Vaart. But just under a week ago there were a stream of stories saying that Liverpool had spoken to Real about van der Vaart. No quotes, but it was in too many papers at the same time for it to have been made up. Again, it’s up to you what you believe, but it doesn’t take a great deal of imagination to work out where the papers might have got that story from.

    Talking of the papers getting their stories from people at the club, who exactly could this be referring to? “Senior figures at Liverpool have indicated that – unlike in the past when Benitez has parlayed his popularity with the fans into improved contracts and greater influence at the club – this will not be the case should Juventus’s offer turn out to be genuine.” That’s in the article in the Independent, and it wasn’t Gillett, Hicks, Broughton, Ayre or Nash they got the information from.

    I don’t expect you to believe me, I can’t show you the “proof”, but I’d like to ask you to just open your mind up about al of this. Don’t dismiss it out of hand, think about how possible it is for it to be true.

    As for you saying “I would be far more comfortable with an LFC season ticket holder deciding the fate of our club than a Chelsea one!” I’d probably have agreed with that at one time, but who did David Moores, Rick Parry, Steve Morgan and other major shareholders support when they decided LFC’s fate in 2007 by agreeing to the sale of the club to the Americans?

  14. Jim, there’s no doubt that if true this is pretty poor form by Purslow. I’m wondering if you have a take on what the situation is with Benitez? I just wonder whether Purslow knows Rafa is going and this made him feel like he could act independently? That said, it’s no excuse from all sorts of angles.

  15. Hi Martin,

    I don’t think Purslow has any way of knowing if Rafa is going to walk of his own accord. Juve’s alleged “deadline” for Rafa to make a decision keeps moving and they reportedly approached Capello recently, all in all it’s not as nailed-on as some seem to think. Maybe Purslow does think it’s nailed on, I don’t know. As for LFC sacking Rafa, I’m not even sure the club know who gets to make such a call.

    The article in the Independent claimed its source as “Senior figures at Liverpool”. Common sense narrows that down to Purslow, Broughton or the owners. I’ve been told it wasn’t Broughton or the owners. What the article basically said was that Rafa wouldn’t be able to use the alleged interest from Juve as a bargaining tool to increase his own influence at the club. So again this suggests Purslow doesn’t really know for sure.

    Which is all the more reason to ask why he was going behind Rafa’s back speaking to Perez about players, that alone is something he should clearly know is outside of his remit. Even if his intentions were genuine, or the meeting was impromptu and the subject of certain Real players was raised by Perez , blabbing about it to the press before he spoke to Rafa about it is something I can’t find any good reason for.

    If he was talking to Real on behalf of a new incoming manager, he shouldn’t be scuppering that new manager’s plans by blabbing to the press about that new manager’s targets. If he was acting on behalf of Rafa, it certainly didn’t sound like it. And if he wasn’t acting on behalf of any manager, why was he talking transfers anyway? It’s not his job.

    And if Purslow’s in any doubt about that, he needs to just have a look at the general consensus on how Gianfranco Zola would feel at finding out that his club had made a bid for West Brom’s Graham Dorrans without bothering to let him know, let alone consult him.

    In the case of Zola it’s his club’s owners undermining him, in the case of Benitez it’s essentially just an employee undermining him.

    And again, this isn’t just about Rafa, it’s about a club employee taking it upon himself to go over the manager’s head and make his own decisions on transfer dealings. And if Rafa does walk, who is going to choose his replacement? Or is Purslow going to put the tracksuit on himself?

  16. Yes you’re quite right, the Independent article does suggest that Purslow does not know. Which begs the question, why did he do it?

    If it was a deliberate attempt to undermine and unsettle Rafa then I don’t understand why. Surely the club wants stability for the (protracted) sale process? I suppose this £16m figure is also lurking in the background…

    The other possibility is that Purslow had naive delusions of grandeur and fancied being Liverpool manager for the day. But then you think of how astute Purslow is meant to be and you think that it is impossible he could make such a mistake.

    Excuse my french, but what the duck was he doing in Madrid anyway! Has this been determined?

    I wonder what to make of the articles coming out tonight regarding Benitez from the Times camp. Interesting that TB/TE say:

    “Benítez’s annoyance with the way the club are run was highlighted last week when a senior official made contact with Real Madrid and discussed the possibility of signing Rafael van der Vaart without the manager’s knowledge.”

    Presumably, the only way the Times can be sure that Benitez was not party to the discussions regarding VDV is from Benitez himself. Given the ties Benitez has with the Times and Tony Evans in particular, this would not surprise me. A friend of mine was in contact with TE before that 6000 word exclusive interview and after seeing some emails that TE wrote it would seem Benitez is happy to confide in him, off the record, so to speak.

    That article also makes mention to “friends of Benitez” and the Oli K article mentiones “sources within Anfield”.

    Not sure exactly what point I’m trying to make here now I think of it but if anything it would seem that these articles are genuine and not just paper talk.

    I fear that Benitez is going and he is using his friends at the Times to prepare us for the possiblity and the reasons for it.

  17. Thanks for that Joey.

    I hope that helps to validate what was in Tom’s piece, I think it’s fairly obvious who the “senior official” actually is. I’ve said it in comments alresdy – there’s no reason whatsoever for the MD to go behind his manager’s back to discuss possible transfers with any other club.

    Also in tomorrow’s Times is a piece by Oliver Kay. This bit stands out:

    The club’s hierarchy believe Benítez is “playing games” as he weighs up an offer to take over at Juventus.

    Again, it doesn’t name names but I think it should be pretty obvious who it’s referring to. And it’s also significant that there are quote marks around the words “playing games”. Those were the actual words used by the member of the club’s hierarchy, otherwise they’d not be in quotes.

  18. Thanks Martin, I hadn’t spotted the “lame duck” description was in also in quotes.

    I don’t see an issue with the actual idea of various club execs meeting up from time to time, and I’m sure all kinds of things get discussed at such meetings. But surely they should be discussed with the appropriate members of the club’s staff before the press get to be briefed about it in any way.

    What I see as the biggest worry is that it seems both Purslow and Benitez are concerned about what the other is up to. Rather than speak to each other, rather than trust each other, they’re worried about each other! Worried enough to either go directly to the press about it or to mention it to a friend they know will probably mention it to the press. Rafa could deny the Juve speculation, but if he’s genuinely under the impression he’ll be sacked in the summer then it makes sense for him to keep his options open, (if there are other options there). Purslow could reassure Rafa by sitting down with him and telling the truth about the chat with Real and what he said to reporters about it.

    If Rafa does want to go it won’t be because of that one incident with van der Vaart, it will be over the string of problems he’s faced for the past few years and the worry that it looks like the same problems are going to continue.

  19. Sounds a bit like Rick Parry.

    God I’m sick of all this. All this whispering is killing the club.

  20. So for the last how ever long we’ve all been concerned about how the media use the club for a cheap story to flog papers based on rumour, speculation or pure fantasy…
    So why on earth are 1000’s of LFC fans reading shite like this
    :
    http://www.anfieldroad.com/news/201005063612/lfc-chairman-must-deal-with-damage.html/

    And actually believing it, given this is based on the say so of journos speaking to ‘senior sources’. Don’t forget every year a new senior source pops up telling us about the complete bullshit transfers that will occur. It makes a conspiracy out of nothing and makes us forget who the enemy is.

    Remember the minutes of the SOS meeting? CP opened up about how shit are owners actually and yet people read it two ways. He’s a fan and really thinks that or he’s busy manipulating the club to make some money.
    I believe it was the latter, I’ve not read anything beyond pure guesswork that suugest CP is the villain, stop turning him into one… We really don’t need another.

  21. @WazN: Fans, not journos, on here. I understand your reluctance to believe what’s written on here but I’ve no desire to make anything up, neither have the others who contribute to the site as far as I know. We let “the villains” in three years ago without much more than a distant murmur that they might not be good enough for us. If we don’t at least question his actions, and those of anyone else who comes in at that level and upwards, we’ve left ourselves open to be fooled again.

  22. @WazN: “Remember the minutes of the SOS meeting? CP opened up about how shit are owners actually and yet people read it two ways. He’s a fan and really thinks that or he’s busy manipulating the club to make some money.”

    “I believe it was the latter…”

    So you do believe that he’s manipulating the club then?

    Anyway, Rafa seems to have a problem with ‘senior sources’:

    “And IF I stay I am not thinking about selling Gerrard and Torres – just in case ‘senior sources’ say different things.

    “It is very clear. The chairman was clear, he doesn’t want to sell. The manager is clear, just in case you see any exclusive interviews with senior sources.”

    http://www.skysports.com/story/0,19528,11669_6144283,00.html

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